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SECOND WORLD CONFERENCE OF WORKERS FOR THE
FEBRUARY 17, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MAAS, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted the following
[To accompany H. J. Res. 434]
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which was referred House Joint Resolution 434, having duly considered the same, hereby make report of it to the House with the recommendation that the resolution do pass.
The purpose of this resolution is to provide for the expenditure of $5,000 for the purpose of sending Federal-State delegates to the Second World Conference of Workers for the Crippled to be held at The Hague, Netherlands, the week of June 28, 1931, to be provided for out of any unexpended balance of the current appropriation for vocational rehabilitation of disabled persons, as provided in Public No. 317, Seventy-first Congress.
The unexpended balance for the current year under the act in question will be slightly more than $100,000; thus, it can be seen that funds would be available should Congress see fit to pass the resolution. The following statements are appended hereto and made a part of this report:
1. John A. Kratz, chief vocational rehabilitation, Washington. 2. A. H. Abbott, president National Rehabilitation Association, Oklahoma City, Okla.
3. Hon. Melvin J. Maas, St. Paul, Minn.
4. E. F. Franks, vice chairman Federal Board for Vocational Education, Washington, D. C.
5. Hon. Wilbur J. Carr, Assistant Secretary of State.
6. Hallett Johnson, first secretary, American Legation at The Hague.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 9, 1931.
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
GENTLEMEN: It has been suggested that a statement be submitted to your committee with reference to House Joint Resolution 434, introduced by Mr. Maas on December 11, 1930. This joint resolution provides for participation of the Government of the United Stated in the Second World Conference of Workers for the Crippled to be held at the Hague, The Netherlands, the week of June 28, 1931.
The Government of the United States has since 1920 been promoting, in cooperation with the States, a service for the vocational rehabilitation of physically disabled persons. Although the United States was the first Government to undertake such work for the civilian disabled, other countries are now engaged in it. A number of the European governments, as well as China and Japan, have sent observers and investigators to the United States to learn of the experiences and procedures of the several States in the Federal Government in the work of retraining and refitting for remunerative employment persons who are disabled through industrial or public accident, disease, or congenital causes.
In the past, the Government of the United States has not participated in any foreign conferences on rehabilitation and allied work, nor has it sent observers or investigators to other countries. The resolution in question would provide for participation, not only by the Federal Government but also by certain of the States, in the coming World Conference of Workers for the Crippled. If enacted, this resolution would provide an opportunity both to the States and the Federal Government for making available to them the experiences of other countries in the conduct of rehabilitation work. From literature which has been received from foreign countries, it would appear that they have much to contribute in this movement.
It is called to the attention of your committee that the enactment of this resolution would not necessitate the appropriation of additional funds. The funds for meeting the expenses of participation in this world conference can be made available, as the resolution provides, from the unexpended balance of the current appropriation for vocational rehabilitation of disabled persons. The unexpended balance of this appropriation for the current fiscal year will be in the neighborhood of $100,000. Respectfully submitted.
Hon. MELVIN J. MAAS,
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., December 17, 1930.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.
JOHN A. KRATZ, Chief Vocational Rehabilitation.
DEAR MR. MAAS: The National Rehabilitation Association notes with much interest the introduction by you of H. R. 434 which provides for representation in behalf of the crippled from the United States at The Hague Conference next June.
Our association, of which I have the honor to be president, believes that this is an important and far-reaching move upon your part, since we are endeavoring in every way possible to extend, expand, and improve our program of training and fitting our disabled people to earn their own living.
An interchanging of ideas, of methods and of practices used in the guidance, counseling, training, and placement of disabled people will be of much lasting benefit socially, economically, and otherwise to all nations participating in The Hague Conference.
On page 498, preliminary committee reports of the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, you will find a summary of the report on the handicapped in which it is stated that "in order to get these needs there is required a high degree of cooperative effort on the part of social and health workers, educational authorities, and employers whose services should be coordinated and directed so as to provide:
1. Early discovery and diagnosis.
2. Curative and remedial treatment.
3. Social contacts.
4. A differentiation of education with "vocation" as an important aim.
5. A service of educational and vocational guidance.
6. Prevocational training.
7. Vocational training.
8. Placement in employment.
9. Follow up in employment.
On page 499 of this same report you will find that the program for meeting
the needs of the physically handicapped includes: 1. A central State coordinating agency.
2. Creation of constructive attitudes.
3. Development of employment opportunities.
4. Protective legislation.
5. Promotion by private agencies and industry.
6. Promotion by the National Government.
Should you desire a detailed hearing from the National Rehabilitation Association on the scope and purposes of its program and its relations to The Hague conference, I shall be glad to appoint a small committee for such hearing and arrange for it to appear at such a time as you may designate.
Your own Mr. Oscar M. Sullivan, of St. Paul, is an outstanding man in our rehabilitation work and I should like to have him as one member of such a committee should you desire the hearing.
Assuring you that I shall be glad to lend any service in connection with this program and requesting an early reply from you, I am,
А. Н. Аввотт, President National Rehabilitation Association.
STATEMENT OF HON. MELVIN J. MAAS, ST. PAUL, MINN., IN FAVOR OF THE RESOLUTION
The United States has a very large problem of crippled and handicapped persons. Unless this is met properly, the physical and economic disabilities reduced as low as possible, and such adjustments made that the disabled will become socially efficient, our civilization can not be considered satisfactory. The problem of the disabled workingman alone is a very large one. It was brought out at the hearing on the vocational rehabilitation bill, H. R. 7138, January, 1930, page 20, that there are 323,000 persons permanently disabled, partially or totally, each year by accident. A very large proportion of these would be serious disabilities which would require readjustment in economic life. We still have with us thousands of disabled war veterans, many of whom have not been satisfactorily readjusted and are still in occasional need of training and placement. The recent White House conference on child welfare was amazed at the figures relating to physical disabilities among children. Reliable statistics were presented showing there were 300,000 crippled children, 382,000 tuberculous children, 64,000 totally or partially blind, and 360,000 totally or partially deaf. Taken all together the problem of the disabled constitutes one for which the Nation and the States will need the best methods, the highest skill, and latest scientific information.
To the great credit of the United States it was the first of national governments to attack the problem of salvaging the disabled. By the vocational rehabilitation law of 1920 it offered $1,000,000 annually in aid to the States to promote a program of vocational advisement, training, and placement for the crippled and others of the physically disabled. This program is now operating in 44 States. It is administered directly by the States but with advice and assistance from the
Federal Government. It has attracted world-wide attention and interest and is conceded to be a sound method of dealing with the economic side of the problem. The States are spending annually a larger amount than the sum needed to match the Federal funds. In addition to the public expenditures there are many private organizations which are conducting experiments in sheltered employment, activitives for the home bound, marketing of products, placement of the disabled, and the like. The growth of the public work has caused a development of private work in the fields not especially amenable to public activities.
Work for crippled children has also been developing rapidly throughout the States in the past decade. Many States have physical restoration work for crippled children as well as special classes in the public schools. More and more these schools are being correlated with the vocational rehabilitation work so that the working world. more effective work is being done for the juvenile disabled in fitting them into
Work for the crippled has been developed in Europe in many different ways. Some countries have had much longer experiences in this work than has the United States, even though this country was the originator of the nation-wide attempt to meet the problem. In particular the systems of Germany, France, France has recently Norway, and England have many elements of value. passed an act for vocational rehabilitation of the disabled. Except for this European activities are under private auspices.
The Second World Conference of Workers for the Crippled is to be held at The Hague, The Netherlands, the week of June 28, 1931, and will bring together the experts and authorities on work for the disabled from many European countries and other parts of the world. Every phase of the problem will be discussed, the economic, the medical, the social, the industrial, the peculiar difficulties in the way of adjusting the adult cripple, as well as the special needs of the crippled child.
No additional appropriation would be needed to assure participation by the United States. The Federal Government has already appropriated $1,000,000 in aid of the vocational rehabilitation work in the States for the current year. Although the work has been increasing rapidly the total amount of the appropriation has not been used up in the past few years and there will likely be a considerable balance. All that is needed to bring to the United States the full benefit of the proceedings of this conference with its immense value to the disadvantaged and unfortunate of the country is by resolution to authorize the expenditure of $5,000 of the unexpended balance of the amount appropriated so that the President may appoint delegates who will attend the conference and see that the rehabilitation service of the country receives the very latest ideas and measures that are feasible in reclaiming the disabled. The investment the State and Nation are already making in work of this kind, the deep interest of thousands of citizens who are giving their time and thought to the problem, and the possible results for the large numbers of the crippled and disabled surely warrant such action.
MELVIN J. MAAS.
FEDERAL BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION,
The SECRETARY OF STATE,
Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: In response to a telephone request from Mr. Kodding of the Department of State, I am submitting a report on House Joint Resolution 434, Seventy-first Congress, third session. This joint resolution proposes participation of the Government of the United States in the Second World Conference of Workers for the Crippled to be held at The Hague, the Netherlands, the week of June 28, 1931. For the purpose of carrying out the resolution provision is made as follows:
1. The President is authorized to appoint five delegates to the conference. 2. Authorization is provided for the use of the sum of $5,000 from any unexpended balance of the current appropriation of $1,000,000 appropriated in aid of vocational rehabilitation of disabled persons (Pub. No. 317, 71st Cong.) or so much thereof as may be necessary, for travel and other expenses.
In the telephone request from Mr. Kodding the Federal Board for Vocational Education was asked to supply you with the following information:
1. How the request originated.
2. From whom the original invitation had come and by whom received.
3. What the Federal board desired to do.
4. What may be expected as a result of possible participation in this international conference.
Answer to question 1: At the present moment I am unable to supply you with information as to how the request originated, since it was not originated by the Federal Board for Vocational Education, and the urgency of my report to you does not permit the taking of sufficient time to ascertain the facts.
Answer to question 2: I am also unable to furnish a specific answer to this question for the conference to which the joint resolution refers, namely, "at The Hague, the Netherlands, the week of June 28, 1931." Original correspondence is available for a similar conference held in Geneva during the summer of 1929, in which invitations for the Federal Board to send a representative were made by Mr. Edgar F. Allen, president, and Mr. Paul H. King, first vice president, the
International Society for Crippled Children. These invitations were received by Mr. John A. Kratz, Chief, Vocational Rehabilitation Service of the Federal Board. Answer to question 3: In view of the fact that this joint resolution was not brought to the attention of the Federal Board previous to January 22, 1931, there has been no opportunity to present the matter to the Federal Board for action, and because of this fact there has been no opportunity to present it to the Bureau of the Budget for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not this expenditure is in accord with the financial program of the President.
Answer to question 4: In answer to this question you are advised that the inter change of ideas and experiences between different agencies and people engaged in a common enterprise is always of value to both groups. The United States has been engaged in promoting the vocational rehabilitation of disabled civilians for slightly more than 10 years. Its program has been developed out of the needs of our country and the experiences of those made responsible for the program by the States and the Federal Government. It was a new undertaking, one calling for new procedures, new objectives, and new appreciations on the part of both employers and disabled workers. While the program has made notable progress, it is believed that greater efficiency would result from a knowledge of the successes, mistakes, and failures experienced in other countries.
There is at the present moment additional legislation being considered by the Congress under a bill known as S. 5104, a bill to provide for cooperation, with the several States and Territories in the care, treatment, education, vocational guidance, and placement, and physical rehabilitation of crippled children, and for other purposes. If this bill is enacted into law in the near future it will be even more desirable to have had the benefit of information secured through attendance at The Hague conference, since the two programs would call for close cooperation by whatever agencies are created for their administration.
For the reasons stated in answer to question 3, the Federal Board is not in a position to make a specific recommendation at this time.
Very truly yours,
E. F. FRANKS, Vice Chairman.
The Hon. HENRY W. TEMPLE,
House of Representatives.
SIR: Referring to your letter of January 10, 1931, requesting a report concerning House Joint Resolution 434 introduced by Mr. Maas, December 11, 1930, being a resolution providing for "participation of the Government of the United States in the Second World Conference of Workers for the Crippled to be held at The Hague, the Netherlands, the week of June 28, 1931," you are informed that the department has requested the Federal Board for Vocational Education to supply it with additional information concerning the proposed Congress. Inasmuch as this department has as yet been unable to obtain adequate information concerning this conference and the Netherlands legation in Washington states that it is unfamiliar with any plans for it, I am communicating by cable with the American Legation at The Hague for the purpose of obtaining additional facts for the use of your committee in its consideration of the bill.
Very truly yours,
The SECRETARY OF STATE,
JANUARY 23, 1931.
Washington, D. C.:
WILBUR J. CARR.
THE HAGUE, January 26, 1931.
Your telegram 4, January 23, 6 p. m. Conference will be held under the auspices of the central society for the care of cripples and of the Rotary Club of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Government is doubtful whether it will be represented officially and appears to attach little importance to the conference, plans for which are still indefinite. Understand that invitations will be received by American organizations. I do not recommend official participation.